If you are a Twitter user who has begun using Instagram’s new Threads platform, the experience might be a bit jarring. Threads is very similar to Twitter but so different in many ways. It seems to have a lot less news and political discourse than what would be considered its rival. As it turns out, that is an intentional choice made by Meta, according to head of Instagram Adam Mosseri.
In a conversation on Threads with The Verge journalist Alex Heath, Mosseri explained that Threads’ goal is not to replace Twitter and that instead, its goal is to create a “create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter.” Mosseri said the platform is aimed at communities that are interested in a “less angry place” for conversations, but not all of Twitter.
In just days after the Threads app launched, it has over 78 million users. While a lot of that can be attributed to the network effects from being an Instagram spin-off, that is still quite impressive. That is less than 20 per cent the number of users that Twitter has but now, it seems unlikely that Threads will feel like its competitor even if it got as many users.
“Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads – they have on Instagram as well to some extent – but we’re not going to do anything to encourage those verticals,” explained Mosseri in a post.
Going further, Mosseri did not discount the importance of political discourse and hard news but according to him, any increased engagement or revenue they might drive is not worth the scrutiny, negativity or integrity risks that come along with them. He also hinted that the platform could focus on a host of other topics including sports, music, fashion, beauty, entertainment and more.
Post by @mosseri
View on Threads
Ever since its acquisition by Elon Musk, a large number of users have been looking for an alternate platform. Since taking over, Musk has implemented many changes that seem counter-intuitive to anyone, including the paid verification system, limits to number of tweets that can be accessed and more.
Although it appeared promising in the beginning, Threads may not be the new home that a lot of those users are looking for. But it is not like there aren’t enough alternatives out there—BlueSky still exists and many Mastodon instances are quite active.